“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be Holy, because I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:14-16
“ ‘I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.’” (Leviticus 11:44)
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.’” (Leviticus 19:2)
Holy (Kadosh/Qadosh) – “… one or something which is holy has an element of being set apart, separate from all other worldly things that fall into the realm of hullin,[meaning] the secular or profane.” Dov Landau – Notes on the Concept of Holiness.
As these verses show us, God is holy and because of this He expects us to be holy as well. Thankfully we have a grace-filled, loving God who knows we cannot do this on our own. As a result of this, He is the one who makes us holy, it does not come from our own efforts. God is there to offer forgiveness, guidance via the Holy Spirit, grace, and love as we live a holy life, knowing that we are living for Him and only for Him.
Holiness doesn’t mean that we life perfect lives, we know this is impossible. What it does mean is that we live a life that reflects God’s commandments, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and the character of Christ.
Leviticus 19 consists of a list of commandments for holy living. Over time the laws became quite legalistic and the true intent and purpose of them were lost. When Jesus was asked which of the laws and commandments were the most important he replied like this…
‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’ (Matthew 22:36-40)
And there we have it, straight from Jesus and the prophets. The way to be holy is to love God, love others, and love yourself. God’s commandments are rooted in love. If we love God we will follow Him, listen to the wisdom of His Holy Spirit, and follow the teachings of Jesus. It isn’t easy, but with God’s strength and power, we can live a holy life. We have been set apart to demonstrate God’s love in a world that desperately needs it.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Be mindful (aware) of your actions and thoughts today. Do they reflect God’ holiness? Do they reflect your holiness?